Hi Jim,

It's all very simple physics. Look at the size of the loudspeaker. Its low frequency output is limited by its size as a fraction of a wavelength. The K3 and K3S are designed as compact, light weight radios. The speaker used is quite good for its size. If you want big bass, you need a big loudspeaker (or at least one a lot bigger than the little guy in the K3 and K3S). BUT -- ham radio is NOT about high fidelity, it's about COMMUNICATIONS quality sound.

Having the sub receiver doubles my listening pleasure. I use a pair of old RS Minimus-7 speakers with my original K3, and am using a pair of Jensen Powered Speakers (JPS 45) with my K3S. Getting excellent sound from both systems.

Nearly a century ago, Bell Labs learned through a lot of research that all it takes for communications is smooth (flat) response between about 500 Hz and 3 kHz, and the telephone system was designed around that bandwidth.

As a former Bell head (BTL in Denver) working on PBX systems in the 1970s I was exposed to the training for many telephone products. The plain old telephone service, POTS, was designed for a 3000 Hz bandwidth (300-3300).

In the 1960s while earning my EE degree I worked in the broadcast business. Our main studio to transmitter link was an equalized line, but the backup circuit was a POTS line. Fortunately we didn't need to press it into service often, but on those occasions it sure sounded crappy by comparison to the usual AM 6 kHz or so eq'd circuit. And much more so when we added an FM station to the mix.

Gus Hansen

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